This paper analyzes the main advances in health coverage and health services demand in Colombia using the 1997 and 2003 living standards surveys. The study showed an increase in health coverage associated with expansion of the subsidized care system, although a large proportion of the population is still not entitled to health care. The type of entitlement also directly affects the demand for services. There was an increase in preventive medical consultations in 2003 and a decrease in the use medical care for acute illness, due mainly to lack of money. Access to medicines increased from 1997 to 2003, as reflected by a decrease in out-of-pocket expenditure on medicines.