It's difficult to answer the question without knowing more specifics, but I'm assuming that you're talking about a married couple, with one spouse entering a nursing home and hoping to
qualify for Medicaid.
Medicaid -- which pays for the nursing home care of financially and medically needy people -- is a complicated program. Each state has different rules about what assets a spouse is entitled to keep when the other spouse qualifies for Medicaid nursing care. Planning is important to ensure that enough resources will be available for the stay-at-home spouse.
Under the Medicaid rules, the assets of both spouses are combined and divided in half. Any assets over the maximum allowed for the stay-at-home spouse must be used to pay for the care of the nursing home spouse.The stay-at-home spouse is entitled to a minimum amount of assets and income. These amounts vary by state.