1. Can my employer require me to participate in the insurance program? Yes.
2. Should the money for the insurance be deducted from my gross (pre-tax) or net (post-tax) earnings? Or should the money be considered earnings at all? That depends entirely on whether your employer has a 125B Plan in place. If so, then insurance deductions will be taken pre-tax. If not, then the deductions must be made after-tax/
A person, who is nice to you, but rude to a waiter, is not a nice person. (This is very important. Pay attention. It never fails.)