Arab Health Insurance Conference 2025

  • Date : 17 – 19 February 2025
  • Venue : Four Seasons Hotel, Bahrain

 

Category:

The structuring and infrastructure of the health sector and current service models in several Arab countries are nothing like what they used to be 10 to 15 years ago.

The most important features of this change lie in how national healthcare systems are financed, and in assigning a larger market share of the health services operations to the private sector, which has grown in giant leaps.

Consequently, health insurance is rapidly growing in the region, playing a critical role both in peoples’ lives as well as in building a vibrant insurance industry.

Technology innovation, rise of living costs, and increasing pressures on healthcare systems are making health reforms in the region move at a rapid pace. Health insurers are therefore searching for the optimal model that balances customer satisfaction and provider relationship management while keeping their cost manageable.

Competition in the health insurance market is growing as AI technology advances and the need for customer-orientated systems increase. These factors are leading to constant developments and driving sales.

The Arab Health Insurance Conference (AHIC) brings together national healthcare officials, health actuaries, and VPs, CEOs, Managing Directors, Heads of Operations, Claims Managers from leading insurance companies and hospitals, as well as solution providers, to share evolving, cutting-edge strategies on building national healthcare systems, healthcare forward-thinking and technology-enabled solutions hitting the health insurance industry today.

Sessions

Session 1 - Official Inauguration Speeches

Session 2 - What has been the Imperative for Reforming National Healthcare Services

The health protection gap refers to the financial burden faced by households, including uninsured healthcare costs and avoidance of costly medical treatments. The gap is expected to worsen with the trend of increasing longevity and ageing populations. Based on PwC’s Insurance 2025 and Beyond, the global protection gap is estimated to widen to US$1.86tn by 2025. What are the Risks and Opportunities triggering reforms in national healthcare systems? What are the expected Outcomes? What have been the implications for the insurance industry?

Session 3 - Design, Implementation and Management of National Healthcare Systems

The main goals of health-care systems are to improve the health of the population they serve, respond to people’s legitimate expectations, and offer fair financing. Enjoying the highest attainable standard of health is one of the key universal human rights, and the sustainable development goals focus on ensuring health for all. Health is also a determinant of economic development, poverty reduction, labour productivity and other human capital investments. To promote equitable access to health services, governments and policy makers are encouraged to review their healthcare system to facilitate access to healthcare inputs. Additionally, ICT is used to support the development of the health sector in an effective and efficient way and includes, among others, the implementation of Electronic Medical Records (EMR), Electronic Health Records (EHR), the Personal Health Record (PHR), Hospital Information System (HIS) - introducing the term ‘Digital Health’. This session focuses on key challenges faced by Arab health-care systems and the underlying factors driving these challenges. Furthermore, it will look into criteria that measure the performance and adequacy of regional healthcare systems according to global benchmarks.

Session 4 - Sustainable Funding Models for National Healthcare Systems

In the last 100 years or so, citizens in almost all Arab countries benefited from complete health services free of charge. However, in recent years, most of these countries have begun to establish new frameworks for providing and operating their national health sector. Fundamentally, the new arrangements included the shift to new financing models. As in pensions, the world has known a few funding models/ or combinations of models for health insurance. One works on a pay-as-you-go basis and is often offered by public organisations, the other uses the funded system as a basis and is offered by private insurance companies. The range of benefits of both systems can be similar or different, depending on socio-political demands and market context in each market, with certain elements of cost redistribution usually integrated in the system. Which funding models are we targeting in MENA region for adequacy and future-proof sustainable healthcare system?

Session 5 - Development of Public Healthcare Schemes and Health Insurance Funds in GCC

The current problems and actuarial forecasts of pressures and costs on public healthcare systems have resulted in establishing mandatory and voluntary healthcare insurance funds and the implementation of the Universal Health Insurance (UHI) in some Arab countries. How are these new schemes rolled out locally and how’s take-up doing? What considerations go in their pricing methodologies? How is the local insurance industry reacting to the increased privatisation of health services? On the other hand, how the implementation of new public insurance scheme will change the performance of morbidity, longevity, the quality of medical services provided by country’s healthcare system.

Session 6 - Trends and Factors Affecting Health Insurance Product Development, Value Proposition and Pricing

Health insurance is among the fastest growing industries globally, and the COVID-19 pandemic further accelerated its growth in the past three years. The pandemic has also driven health awareness among consumers and accelerated digital adoption and the evolution of healthcare ecosystems, allowing insurers to reinvent their business models to adapt to the rapidly evolving industry. The landscape for health insurance market is highly competitive, and the ongoing healthcare reforms are making it even more attractive to the insurance industry. In this session, we identify and discuss major trends shaping the innovation of health insurance products, the value proposition, pricing and positioning for individual and group health insurance products.

Session 7 - How Technology is Transforming the Insurance-Customer Relationship

The rising demand for health insurance can be attributed to the efforts of the new-age insurers to expand insurance accessibility, enhancing simplicity and transparency. This has led to the adoption of disruptive technologies to stay ahead of the competition, from underwriting to risk analysis, digitalisation has taken over many insurance processes. AI-powered chatbots or virtual assistants have helped insurers achieve the feat of personalising customer service. Further, AI algorithms coupled with ML models are making underwriting an efficient and accurate process, enabling insurers to customise products based on the customer's risk profile. Digital integration into standard and vital health insurance processes, such as policy issuance, claim management, and renewal process, has streamlined things, ensuring a seamless customer experience. The adoption of big data, AI/ML, automation and other digital tools has transformed the way health insurers operate in many countries. From democratising health insurance and serving beneficiaries better to reducing costs and improving overall health outcomes, tech enablement in healthcare insurance has created a good space not only for insurers but policyholders, too. This session will have a deep dive into the key trends of how technology is further empowering insurers to reshape engagement with their customers.

Session 8 - Regulatory Agenda and Strategic Issues

Health insurance is a highly regulated business both by insurance and, somehow, health services regulators. Both have their strong regulatory agendas, and both as well as the industry agree that the growing protection gap in health provisions is a concern. Insurers and governments are under pressure to absorb increasing healthcare expenditures. Regulatory focus has mostly been placed on product governance and oversight, and less on facilitating higher penetration of health insurance which will benefit both people and the industry. Another driver in current regulatory activities has been the pace of technological change. Firms and regulators alike are grappling with the opportunities and challenges of AI and ML. Some view them as a force for good that will provide insight into customer behaviour, drive product innovation by helping to assess risk, and eventually do the groundwork in preparing policies. Others worry about the impact on consumers, especially those that are most vulnerable and the critical role that data ethics will need to play. Over the medium to long term, it will also be interesting to monitor how regulators use AI in their own operations and supervisory activity. This session will look into the latest issues on regulatory agenda for health insurance, and how regulators and the industry should be thinking strategically about embracing new risks and opportunities in this space.

Session 9 - How are Aging Populations Impacting Health Insurance Design

Demographic changes, in particular increasing life expectancy combined with a declining birth rate, which affect a large number of countries, are among the most important drivers in the health sector’s rising costs. This is even more evident in the field of long-term care and ageing-related diseases. This session will specifically address the size of financial costs and proportional capacity consumed by healthcare for the elderly within national health systems, and how health insurance systems are adapting and coping with these insurance risks.

Session 10 - Distribution of Health Insurance in the Digital Economy

The world is seeing new models for digital distribution of health insurance in a post-pandemic world. Insurers are increasingly looking at partnerships as a solution to integrate their services into ecosystems and improve customer experience. They are looking to have interventions with customers long before a claim is made, and offering services that integrate into a customer’s lifestyle. The nature of health insurance is changing. Digital channels remove the underused and often excessive features of traditional products to allow customisation for the individual. The old-style reimbursement of expenses is shifting towards more flexible and customised digital services. These offer greater flexibility and choice, and cost transparency. They also provide insurers with data, contact, and opportunity – the building blocks of digital transformation. These changes are making insurers adapt to the “Digital Consumer” and enhance their user experience (UX) in health insurance services where AI-driven digital marketing and Chatbots are powering consumer engagement. To what extent has the Arab insurance industry adopted digitalisation in its distribution activities?

Session 11 - Risk Management and Fraud Prevention in Health Insurance

What are the likely risks health insurers could face in their business operations? How do health insurers assess risk, and how is technology changing that? What are they doing about protecting customer data privacy, data management, cyber-security, and governance? On the more commercial level, what are they doing to minimize fraud? Medical insurance funds, often referred to as the public’s “life-saving funds,” play a crucial role in both individual well-being and the pursuit of social justice. Medicare fraudulent claims reduce “life-saving money”, undermining social justice and affecting social stability. Fraudulent use of health insurance strains available funds and raises the cost of healthcare which is a substantial financial challenge. Manufacturers, hospitals, pharmacies, healthcare providers, distributors, and payers—the parties most impacted by healthcare fraud—are just a few of the sectors of the healthcare system that are affected. Healthcare fraud includes billing for services undelivered or unnecessary, misrepresentation, or willful omission that are essential in determining benefits to be paid, rebilling, readmission, upcoding, unbundling, kickbacks practicing, and unjustified distribution of healthcare services and medications. Some insurance regulators and health insurance providers have been working on models that automatically detects fraud from health insurance claims using supervised machine and deep learning analytics such as random forest, logistic regression, and artificial neural networks. What are the breakthroughs in this space?

Session 12 - The Evolution of Digital Health Insurance

This session will focus on how Data, AI, machine learning and medical wearables are reshaping healthcare management, operations and user experience. Underwriting is significantly revolutionised by AI, analytics, and where dynamic pricing is enabled by automation. COVID-19 pandemic fast-tracked the adoption of telehealth support services such as virtual consultations, remote monitoring and digital patient engagement tools following the disruption to in-person healthcare. Furthermore, value-added services included in health insurance policies expanded from providing support at the point of claim (e.g. access to a second medical opinion) to providing lifestyle-related benefits such as early health screening and mental health support. The dominant medical insurance underwriting approach is increasingly becoming a mix between prescriptive rule-based engines and traditional underwriting. Applications are first assessed by automated prescriptive rule-based engines which typically are capable of processing standard and simple applications. The applications that cannot be processed by prescriptive rule-based engines are then reviewed by underwriters or referred to the reinsurers. This session explores the outlook of the evolution of digital health insurance in the near to medium terms amid the global transformation into digital life.

Session 13 - Healthcare Literacy and its Impact on Society’s Health and Health Insurance

Simply put, health literacy is about how we receive, interpret and act on health information. It’s a life skill, if you like. And because we all need to live a healthy life for us and our loved ones, that life skill is so essential. Since 1999, October has been recognised as Health Literacy Month. The goal is to raise awareness about the importance of understandable health information. As such, health literacy refers to individuals’ ability to understand important, health-related information such as dosage amounts, consent forms, acronyms, and other common forms of medical jargon. Because medical information influences a patient’s ability to understand their treatment and advocate for themselves, poor health literacy is often associated with poorer health outcomes. A lack of health literacy can result in many poor health outcomes, including increased hospitalizations, whereas health literacy can help us prevent health problems, protect our health, and better manage health problems when they arise. Additionally, most chronic illness is a social problem. Cardiovascular disease, cancers, chronic lung disease, and diabetes alone are responsible for about 75% of deaths in several countries. But these diseases are not solely the problem of doctor and patient? Instead of prescribing medicine, it may be more productive to help set up community weight-loss and activity-promoting groups. The question we’d like to address in this session is: how much governments and health sectors have been investing in ‘health literacy’ as a preventative measure and integrating it in national school curriculum? And what could be the cost implications of a ‘health illiterate’ society on health insurance schemes?

Session 14 - Real Time & Data-Driven Strategies to Enhance Health Insurance Claims Processing

Health claims contain a wealth of information that can be turned into valuable insights for insurers. The potential of analytics in this domain goes beyond claims management, helping the industry reduce fraud and make healthcare payments more transparent. In recent years, AI has emerged as a game-changer in various industries, and the realm of health insurance is no exception. AI is being leveraged in some countries to transform the traditional approach to claims management, ushering in unprecedented efficiency, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness. Manual handling of claims, coupled with the intricacies of verifying medical documents and assessing eligibility, often leads to delays and errors. As the demand for health insurance grows, the need for a more streamlined and technologically advanced approach becomes imperative – the automation of healthcare and medical claims processing. The integration of data analytics and machine learning models (including patient analysis, unstructured data analytics, predictive modeling and AI-based tools) enables insurance companies to optimize and speed up settlement cycles, recognize risks, and reduce fraud rates. With proper analytics tools, health claims data can even help insurers refine their offerings. What does it take to roll out a real-time, data-driven, automated medical claim settlement process in an insurance company?

Session 15 - Growing Obesity and Chronic Diseases and their Implications on Health Insurance

Obesity is one of most significant and fastest growing risks facing entities providing health insurance. Globally, obesity has tripled in just the last 45 years and consistently ranks as one of the top risks of mortality and morbidity. It has also emerged as one of the leading risk factors for severe cases of COVID-19. While the sharply increasing rate of obesity first occurred in wealthier nations, it has now become a global pandemic as public health strategies and other efforts to reverse this trend have largely been ineffective. On the other hand, chronic conditions, including heart disease and stroke, cancer, diabetes and prediabetes, contribute to 90% of healthcare spend in some countries. And, with 6 in 10 U.S. adults, for instance, managing a chronic disease and 4 in 10 managing 2 or more, that expense can take a financial toll on people, governments and health insurers. That spend is projected to climb in coming years, as Millennials, who now make up the majority of today’s workforce, get older and become more at-risk for chronic conditions. In fact, a recent report uncovered that 44% of Millennials have been diagnosed with at least 1 chronic condition. The costliest 1% of patients account for 20% of all health care spending in the United States. Ten percent of the population consumes 63% of the total health care dollars in the country. People with three or more chronic disease conditions generally fall into that 1% category. This session will examine the implications for this rising wave of obesity across the world as well as the significant costs of chronic diseases on national healthcare budgets and profitability of health insurance funds.

Session 16 - Are we Prepared to Cover a Future Pandemic?

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new challenges for the entire health sector worldwide. Health insurance companies did not have any cover expenses relative to pandemic diseases. They used protective clauses since the risk was too complex as well as high. The pandemic forced some insurers to study future coverages for that hand of risks to estimate the associated costs of medical treatments for future pandemics, using the last COVID outbreak as a good example. As part of those studies, the cost of a pandemic coverage was estimated, using both simulation and data on variables such as hospitalisations, tests – related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through that, it was possible to know how many beds were occupied each day by patients, and thus know how many of the hospitalisations were estimated to be paid by insurers. As it is impossible to predict the characteristics of a future pandemic, so in addition to the characteristics of COVID-19, stress tests were also carried out to evaluate more extreme situations. The time between pandemics has been decreasing, mainly due to climate change, urbanization, and globalisation. In light of these attempts and information that have become available and as part enhancing health insurance, will the insurance industry be able to cover the next pandemic?

Who Should Attend?

National Healthcare Councils

Ministries of Health

Health Sector Regulators

Public Hospital Executives

Private Hospital Executives

Private Healthcare Providers

Healthcare Industry Investors

Insurance Regulators 

Health Insurance Companies

CEOs, MDs, CFOs, CMOs, COOs, Directors & Managers of:

  • Health Insurance
  • Health & Lifecare
  • Chief Analytical Officers
  • Business & Product Development
  • Strategy & Business Development
  • Chief Commercial Officers
  • Employee Benefits
  • Data Science & IT (Health insurance related)
  • Health Insurance Pricing
  • Health Insurance Distribution
  • Medical Claims & Underwriting
  • Medical Channels
  • Chief Transformation Officers
  • Insurance & Operations (for Hospitals)
  • Assistance Companies – Healthcare Providers and Third Party Administrators
  • Managed Care Service Providers
  • IT Software Solutions Providers
  • Medical  and Insurance Associations
  • Hospitals
  • Claims Specialists
  • Technology Experts & Solutions Providers
  • Innovation labs 

Speaking

Final selected speakers shall be updated in this space prior to the conference. If you’re an expert in any of the session topics published here and have a case study or experience with a certain interesting project, we’d like to hear from you.

Why speak at this conference?

  • Raising your professional profile, personal brand and job prospects significantly at a regional platform that’s highly attended (800 delegates in physical presence)
  • Showcasing the products and capabilities of your business.
  • Networking with high-profile government and business leaders and developing leads and sales pipeline.
  • Final deadline for submissions is 2 months before the event date.

If you are interested in speaking at this conference, please contact Nahla Sanad at Nahla@fintechrobos.com (+97333152610), or Ebrahim K Ebrahim at Ebrahim@fintechrobos.com (+97339971595).

Sponsorship

Sponsors of the conference enjoy exclusive networking opportunities with an elite group of high-level executives, advisors and industry specialists. Get the biggest visibility at the region’s best attended financial event!

Why Sponsor or Exhibit at this Conference?

Sponsoring or exhibiting at our conference is an exceptionally powerful way to increase the business profile of your organisation, raise brand awareness and generate high-quality leads. The following packages are available:

  • Platinum Sponsor
  • Gold Sponsor
  • Silver Sponsor
  • Gala Dinner Sponsor
  • Luncheon Sponsor

If your company would like to be a partner or an exhibitor at this conference, please contact Nahla Sanad at Nahla@fintechrobos.com (+97333152610), or Ebrahim K Ebrahim at Ebrahim@fintechrobos.com (+97339971595).

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