Chinese trade negotiators suddenly canceled a visit to meet U.S. farmers after they wrapped up trade talks in Washington this week.Marketsread more
Blackstone Executive Vice Chairman Tony James says he's less optimistic now than before that the U.S.-China trade war could be resolved, but even a smaller deal could help...World Economyread more
The Pentagon will deploy U.S. forces to the Middle East on the heels of the attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities, United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper announced...Defenseread more
President Trump also said he is "not looking for a partial deal" with Beijing, moving away from his suggestion last week that he would consider an "interim deal."Politicsread more
Progress on trade talks will determine how far market will move above new highs.Trader Talk with Bob Pisaniread more
"Sure, the trade war's taking its toll on business ... it's just not taking its toll where it was supposed to," Jim Cramer says.Mad Money with Jim Cramerread more
Joe Biden called on President Donald Trump Friday to release the transcript of a call with a foreign leader that is the subject of a whistleblower complaint. Biden described...Politicsread more
For investors taking a breather from the chaos in August, buckle up as the market is about go crazy again, Goldman Sachs warned.Marketsread more
Palantir Technologies is targeting a valuation of at least $26 billion in a private fundraising round, the first for the Peter Thiel-backed data analytics startup in four...Wall Streetread more
Michael Pack, a conservative filmmaker linked to Steve Bannon, saw at least $1.6 million in donations from his nonprofit sent into the coffers of his independent production...Politicsread more
The New England Patriots released Antonio Brown just 11 days after signing the wide receiver. The NFL Super Bowl champion team initially had kept him in the face of a rape...Sportsread more
Nancy Sobin knows her way around paperwork. She started her own business three years ago, helping small business owners and elderly clients manage their finances. That's when she turned to the Obamacare exchanges for health coverage.
"I was fortunate enough, because I was just starting my business, to get a subsidy … and it was pretty good insurance" for about $300 a month, said the owner of Professional Paperwork Services in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.
But as her business improved, her insurance options changed last year.
"I didn't get the subsidy anymore, because my business went well," Sobin explained. So, she switched plans to "the least expensive one I could get — and it was $750 a month."
With the Nov. 1 start of 2019 open enrollment on the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the New Jersey native says it looks like she may have to change coverage again.
"My same plan looks like it's going to be about $150 more per month" in 2019, or $900, she said.
Yet, she may find savings if she switches plans again. President Donald Trump's administration says on average prices for 2019 are 1.5 percent lower than they were last year on the federal health exchange, healthcare.gov.
After years of regulatory uncertainty which led to double-digit price hikes on exchange plans, health insurers are starting to turn a profit on the ACA exchanges. For 2019, there are more carriers getting back into the market and offering new plan options.
"Our view is (that) the marketplace for the individual exchange business is more competitive in 2019 than it has been ... there's more competitors entering the space," said Cigna CEO David Cordani on the company's earnings conference call Thursday.
Cigna is expanding its exchange footprint to a seventh state for 2019, returning to the Arizona market and saying that it is on track to make a profit on its ACA plans this year.
Six-year-old start-up Oscar Health is also expanding into Arizona, and will be offering plans in Michigan and Florida for the first time, bringing its exchange footprint to nine states.
"This is a special open enrollment for us. We feel great about going into more markets," said Oscar CEO Mario Schlosser. "We increasingly are in the markets that have found stability."
A big reason for more stability in the exchange open enrollment was the pause this year in the GOP's legislative push to repeal Obamacare. Still, one big change could prove disruptive during this fall's open enrollment period, which runs through Dec. 15 on the federal exchange.
The Trump administration extended the length of cheaper, short-term plans with fewer benefits to provide up to 12 months of coverage. Some analysts predict those cheaper plans could attract healthier members.
Online insurance brokerage eHealth boosted its staffing this fall to help consumers navigate all of the new alternatives. CEO Scott Flanders says for those who receive subsidies, Obamacare remains the best option. But for those who earn too much to qualify for tax credits, the new plans could be a viable alternative.
"UnitedHealth is coming with some really innovative products for the individual short-term market ... so there's just a lot more choice," Flanders said. "Now, the negative to that is there's more complexity."
He says that will make it even more important for people to shop and compare their options this year. Short-term plans are cheaper because many come with coverage limits and can deny coverage for pre-existing conditions.
Sobin says it's important to do your homework. She's glad she did after considering a short-term plan that claimed her doctors would be covered in-network.
"I called my doctors, and they said they don't take those plans," she said. "It would have been a good savings, but I don't really trust that it would have covered anything."
Another factor that could be disruptive in 2019 is the repeal of the ACA individual mandate penalty. Americans won't have to pay a fine for being uninsured, as a result of the GOP tax plan.
It could lead to even lower enrollment for younger people, but insurers say they're confident people will still sign up.
"Members in this market have started to become educated to the point where they realize it isn't just about premiums, it's about the service you get," said Schlosser.
Polls show health-care affordability remains a top campaign issue for most Americans.
Flanders says it may be good for the health insurance market if Democrats take the House and the Republicans keep control of the Senate after the midterm elections Tuesday.
"I don't think it's realistic to expect major legislative change heading into 2019 … so we think we'll have a more stable environment over the next two years," he explained, "and predictability is good for the private sector, because then they can make plans."
— Follow Bertha Coombs on Twitter: @coombscnbc