This is a great question and one we see a lot of confusion over regardless of which state someone lives in. In most states, the couple's assets are put into one bucket and considered together, regardless of whose name is on the account. However, there are a number of other factors that need to be considered in how much is allocated to the healthy spouse. And rules in this area can vary pretty dramatically from state to state. Your best bet is to sit down with an Elder Law Attorney who knows your state laws so that they can review your parents' precise situation and let you know what your options are. There are a number of factors that can make your parents situation different than someone else's that may at first seem very similar. This is why consulting with an elder law attorney is so valuable. They will know all of the exceptions and special circumstances that most people, even those that work in long term care, simply don't know or don't know how and when to use as tools to help families in this type of precarious situation. There is usually quite a bit that can be done to help families. Many elder law attorneys offer a Free consultation, so you should be able to find out what can be done for your parents by reaching out to an elder law attorney in your state.