My husband Tom was classified as non-service connected disabled and was able to get a pension from the VA for about 16 years. His pension was $985.00 a month and all of his medical care that he received from the VA was free. He did not even have to pay a copay for his meds - most of which came from the VA.
Has your husband checked in with the local VA to file for any type of disability, service or non service? If he has not done so already, please do it. They may be able to get him classified as disabled and he may be able to get a non-service disabilty pension along with medical care.
Tom and I did switch to civilian doctors but his initial surgery and a lot of his follow up care was with the VA - as much as possible but for radiation and chemo we did it locally because of the travel time to/from a VA facility.
One of the nice things about using a VA facility - generally if your insurance does not cover their charges, the VA does not bill the Veteran. Also you can check if the VA is in or out of network with your insurance. The VA is trying to become in network with most insurance companies as they are now billing private insurances. Shortly before Tom passed, they became participating with our private insurance.
We also filed a claim with the VA for Tom's CC, but it was declined. I have not yet appealed the decision because I have been dealing with Tom's death, etc. but I do plan on appealing it. It is very hard to prove, their standard "You did not have any symptoms upon discharge from the service or during the service, and you were a smoker" therefore the claim is denied is pretty standard.