Brazil’s population is aging rapidly. The average life expectancy is increasing such that a large proportion of the current population will reach old age. However, the large Brazilian cities still lack the kind of health services infrastructure needed to meet the demands resulting from present demographic changes. This article examines access to and utilization of health care among the elderly, with particular emphasis on the private sector, drawing on data from the National Household Sample Survey (PNAD, 1998 and 2003). Socio-demographic variables included gender, age, region of residence, and family income. According to the PNAD data presented in the current study, from 1998 to 2003, health conditions improved among Brazilians aged 60 years or older.