Increases in underlying health care costs may exceed 10% this year.

Consultants at Buck Consultants, New York, a unit of Affiliated Computer Services Inc., Dallas, say a survey of 70 health insurers, health maintenance organizations and independent benefit plan administrators shows they believe cost trend for preferred provider plans is up about 10.6% this year, down only slightly from 10.9% in 2006.

The cost trend for HMO plans has increased to 11.1%, from 10.8%, and the cost trend for high-deductible health account plans has increased to 11.1%, from 11%.