BOULDER - Foundation Health LLC, a new direct primary-care practice, is scheduled to open in downtown Boulder in late January.

Direct primary-care practices offer ongoing health care for a monthly fee without going through an insurance company.

A group of six local partners is going in on the business at 1949 Pearl St. in the space formerly occupied by real estate brokerage Pedal to Properties.

Gary Meyers, president of the local CBIZ Benefits and Insurance Services Inc. office, was part of an entity, FH Properties LLC that purchased 1949 Pearl St., Unit C1 in August. Meyers will be a partner in Foundation Health along with his daughter Ginnie Meyers, Bryan Robins, Jeff Higgs and physicians Todd Dorfman and Colleen Ryan.

Foundation Health will occupy a portion of the Pearl Street building, while the rest will be leased to an art gallery slated to open early next year, Ginnie Meyers said. Foundation Health will have a soft opening in January and begin accepting new patients Feb. 1.

Dorfman - whose background ranges from serving as chief executive of consulting group Cedalion Health to serving as director of emergency medical services for the city of Boulder - will serve as medical director for Foundation Health. Ryan will be the main primary-care physician at the practice, which will also employ a pair of physician's assistants.

Foundation Health's partners are billing the business as a complement to health insurance. For $150 per month, Foundation Health customers gain unlimited access and office visits at Foundation Health with no co-pays or co-insurance. The office will offer extended hours and generally provides that patients can get in to see their physician within 24 hours. Providers are also available 24 hours per day via phone and text messaging.

The idea is to create easier access to a primary-care physician while also helping bridge the gap in coverage that often comes with higher deductible insurance plans. At a time when health-insurance costs are increasing significantly, Ginnie Meyers said the Foundation Health model provides a way for consumers to opt for a higher deductible health-care plan, add on the Foundation Health subscription to cover office visits, and still save money on monthly premiums.

"What we see is most of the time, unless you hit your deductible, all of those costs (like office visits and other noncatastrophic services) are coming out of your pocket for your health care," Meyers said.

In addition to office visits, Foundation Health will provide nutrition and insurance consulting, as well as coordination with laboratories, hospitals and specialists.

Meyers said Foundation Health will start with five employees and serve approximately a quarter of the number of patients that a typical practice would serve so as to provide the increased access for patients. Meyers said the intent is to open other locations along the Front Range in the coming year, but no specific plans have been made in that regard.