Some married couples have agreements to keep their assets separate from each other. This can be beneficial for many reasons, especially if they are both on a second marriage and have independent sources of income. This can complicate things if one of the spouses needs to go into a nursing home and have Medicaid pay for their care.
Sometimes the couple will jointly decide to just spend down the assets of the spouse needing long-term care and leave the other spouse with his or her assets. For Medicaid purposes, that will not work. Medicaid will ignore the spousal agreement and will consider the assets of each spouse, when determining eligibility as My San Antonio explains in "Protecting separate assets from Medicaid."
There are potentially a couple of ways around this problem. If the couple gets divorced, then the one spouse's assets will not count against the other spouse. Understandably, many people are reluctant to divorce even for getting coverage for a nursing home stay. There is also an income-based program that some people could qualify under, but the rules can be complicated.
If you think that you might need Medicaid to pay for your nursing home stay at some point, you should discuss how you can make yourself eligible with an elder law attorney without delay.
Reference: My San Antonio (May 4, 2018) "Protecting separate assets from Medicaid."