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NEW YORK-Group health care costs for active employees will rise an average of 3% this year, according to a new survey of 148 large employers conducted by Towers Perrin.

Surveyed employers also project that plan costs will climb an average of 4% for retirees under age 65 and 7% for Medicare-eligible retirees.

Separately, the Department of Health and Human Services reported last week that national health care expenditures climbed 5.5% in 1995 to $988.5 billion from $937.1 billion in 1994. On a per capita basis, health care spending equaled $3,621 per person in 1995, up from $3,465 in 1994. Private sector spending on health care in 1995 edged up 2.9%.